The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allocate more FOREX to manufacturers to allow for the importation of raw materials and machinery.
Edo/Delta branch chairman of MAN, Dr Okwara Udensi, made the call in Benin on Thursday while addressing the 36th Annual General Meeting of the association
Udensi observed that the chronic dollar shortage was affecting the manufacturing sector negatively.
“Manufacturing companies are unable to access the dollar at the official rates and they need it for the importation of raw materials.
“They have been consequently to go to the parallel market to get the dollar at higher rates.
“The sector is facing numerous challenges and it needs the urgent attention of the Federal Government to provide an adequate bailout for the sector to avoid total collapse,’’ he said.
Udensi stressed that the manufacturing sector would only be able to contribute to the country’s economic growth if the numerous challenges militating against its smooth operations were tackled.
He listed the challenges as poor electricity, high lending rates, multiple taxes and levies by government agencies, low patronage of made-in-Nigeria products and congestion at the Lagos ports, among others.
“It is our expectation that these identified challenges be addressed by the government to move the country from an import-dependent to a self-sufficient and export-based economy.
“This can only be made possible with consistency in governments’ policies to guarantee the required enabling environment so that manufacturing companies are able to operate at maximum capacity,’’ he said.
Similarly, Mr Mansur Ahmed, National President of MAN, urged the CBN to direct commercial banks to process FOREX allocation applications by manufacturers transparently.
He also called on the Federal Government to evolve a strategic response to the disruptive impact of the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war on the global supply value chain.
He, however, commended Edo and Delta governments for prioritising youth empowerment through the Edo Innovation hub and the Graduate Employment Enhancement Programme in Delta.
Ahmed was represented by Dr Alofoje Unuigboje, a former Chairman of MAN, Edo/Delta chapter.
In her remarks, Prof. Mercy Anyiwe, a professor of Economics at the University of Benin, urged manufacturers to leverage innovation and technology to make their products competitive at the global market.
She charged MAN to partner with research institutes and academia to overcome some of their challenges.
The Annual General Meeting has “Nigeria’s struggling economy/unstable macroeconomic policies: Lessons and challenges for the manufacturing sector’’ as its theme.